Title page for ETD etd-05162008-113359


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Wyse, Jennifer Lynn
URN etd-05162008-113359
Title Teachers’ Perceptions of the Construction of National Identity through the Primary School Social Studies Program in Malawi
Degree Master of Science
Department Sociology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Kershaw, Terry Committee Chair
Hughes, Michael D. Committee Member
Kelly, Patricia Proudfoot Committee Member
Polanah, Paulo S. Committee Member
Keywords
  • African national identity
  • Malawi
  • neo-colonialism
  • social studies education
Date of Defense 2008-04-28
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
This study looks at social studies teachers' perceptions of Malawi's national identity as it is promoted through Malawi's primary school social studies education. The following research questions were posed: 1) What are teachers’ perceptions of national identity in Malawi? 2) What are teachers’ perceptions of Malawi’s primary school social studies curriculum? and 3) What are teachers’ perceptions of the practice of constructing national identity through primary school social studies curriculum in Malawi? The recent revision of Malawi's social studies curriculum allows for a new analysis on the relationship between Western neocolonialism and its affect on the shaping of Malawian national identity, as exampled by Malawi's social studies program. This study will therefore contribute to existing literature regarding the role of social studies education and the construction of national identity as well as the impact the West has on the maintenance of African national identity. Using semi-structured interviews with ten practicing primary school social studies teachers and one social studies curriculum specialist in the Domasi district, Southern Region of Malawi, I found that Malawi's social studies currciulum is promoting Malawian national identity as perceived by the interviewees. However, the interviewees illuminated contextual factors that hinder the implementation of the new

curriculum.

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